Award it an Oscar... but should we really be Wilde about play?
�A debate has started over whether a new play at an Islington theatre is the final work of Oscar Wilde.
The showing of Constance at the King’s Head Theatre in Upper Street has been described as the world premiere of the final script by the Irish writer.
But his grandson Merlin Holland claims Wilde only ever provided the synopsis and not a full version.
Adam Spreadbury-Maher, artistic director of theatre company Good Night Out, said: “For Merlin Holland to say it is ‘complete tosh’ that this is from Oscar Wilde is a very black and white viewpoint and you can’t take that position when there is not enough evidence. It has all the essence of an Oscar Wilde play.”
You may also want to watch:
The production company claims Wilde gave a more detailed working draft to an American actress Cora Brown Potter before his death in 1900.
She passed it on to Guillot de Saix who produced a French manuscript.
- 1 Arsenal pub Tollington Arms listed 'to prevent it being turned into flats'
- 2 'Obscene gestures and racist abuse' made at Islington Council meeting
- 3 'No consultation': Anger Islington cricket pitch could replace park
- 4 Police search for man who exposed himself on Islington 393 bus
- 5 Five times Islington has featured in films and TV series
- 6 Islington man charged with murder of shooting victim Taylor Cox
- 7 Appeal to trace missing Islington school girl, 14
- 8 Disruptions to your journey by car and train around Islington and Hackney
- 9 Man in hospital with potentially 'life-changing' injuries following stabbing
- 10 Largest beer garden in North London being built for Euro 2020
The English translation was reportedly destroyed during the Second World War – but years later Wilde enthusiast Charles Osborne translated the French version which had been published in a literary magazine in 1954.
The production, based on the translation from Osborne, had its world premiere last week.
Mr Spreadbury-Maher said: “Vyvyan Holland said in 1954 ‘there’s a significant amount of dialogue in this play which bears the authentic mark of my father’s hand’ and that has not been disputed.
“This is a fantastic discovery and very exciting for anyone interested in the work of Oscar Wilde.”
It was reportedly written following his release from prison in 1897 after being jailed for homosexuality.
“This is from a broken man and gone is the flowery language from before, to be replaced by straight to the heart words,” said Mr Spreadbury-Maher.
n Constance, featuring actors Ellie Bevan and James Vaughan, runs until October 22 and shows at 7.15pm start from Monday to Thursday. Visit www.kingsheadtheatre.com or call 0207 478 0160.